The power is out. How many hours does your tank have? UPS vs. DC backup!

How long do UPS battery backups actually last? Is a bigger UPS the best investment for protecting your tank? Today we put two UPS battery backups up against an EcoTech Battery Backup to see which lasts the longest and why.
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  1. Michael Isakov on April 5, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Why couldn’t u compare VA to VA on all??

  2. Spoolin Shawn on April 5, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Can you guys do a test with the pumps running 20% on the UPS setups?

  3. Puciferthegreat on April 5, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Never experienced a blackout lasting longer than 7 hours, run a cheap ups on one wavemaker. Tested it for 5h and it was still running fine so should be fine here thankfully

  4. Max Renaud on April 5, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Engineer here.
    Storage vs peak is different. In general, the larger the inverter, the more efficient it is. In your test, the larger unit had batteries that could hold less charge.
    Going DC -> AC -> DC is absolutely inefficient. The eco tech battery is way overpriced for an SLA battery. I got a 12v battery hooked up to a battery tender and 2x ecotech adaptors. Total for the equivalent of 2 ecotech batteries? $100

  5. JuffoWup78 on April 5, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Cool, the vortech is the clear winner. Except, how does that help when the return pump from the sump is currently without power and the tank is draining in only one direction. I have no idea why you even included the vortech battery in this test at all. It is limited to specifically one brand’s circulation pumps. Meaning having any other brand’s makes that result null and void. What is the life of each of these backups with two circulation pumps and a return pump running. How long will it hold your tank up before you need to look into another option?

  6. kano 1971 on April 5, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Now hook it up to a tank heater cuz that’s what I would need in the winter if the power went out

  7. joe vallino on April 5, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    I’m sure it has been said by others, but you don’t need to go with the Ecotech battery. To backup my 5 MP10/MP40 powerheads, I just purchased a good battery charger (NOCO Genius G1100) and a 35 AH SLA battery (Mighty Max ML35-12) and power jacks (forgot the size the MPs use, but you can search forums on that). The battery charger keeps the battery constantly charged and the Ecotech automatically switches to the 12V input when the 24V power is lost (so nice that they designed the MPs that way). Total cost was $100 and it supplies much more backup power than the Ecotech battery backup.

  8. Geraud Krawezik on April 5, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    When the storm Sandy hit in 2012, my MP10 was indeed kept alive 80 hours or so by the battery backup. What killed a lot of the life was in the end the cold, but at least they did not die within hours… A great product. What would be interesting as a follow up is "how many times can they cycle like that?" Mine after that event had to be replaced as it would not hold a charge any more.

  9. Rath Man on April 5, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Freshwater hobbyists need backup too! Can you do a test to help the average Joe freshwater hobbyists with low budgets that has SunSun wave makers and canisters/HOBs?

  10. Cory R on April 5, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    unfair test. – OK the the eco tech has an AUTO setting the other 2 do not. you should have either left all 3 at 100% or turned down all 3 to 20% having to turn the other 2 pumps down manually vs auto is a feature that is nice ( say if your not home) BUT FOR THIS TEST – you basically RIGGED IT SO THE PRODUCT YOUR SHILLING WILL WIN!

    PS, if you are going with traditional UPS the cheap crap you buy at staples – like the 2 you picked is also not a fair comparison – Rather pick one from Liebert or Emerson for example that you would find in server or IT rooms protecting pro grade servers and switches.

    Oh and last think the echo tech looks like a sealed box – What is the life of the battery inside -not talking about running but stand by life – Lieberts is 5 years and I can replace those batteries for a fraction of the cost of buying a new sealed unit like ecotech

  11. Brandon Meade on April 5, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    Randy u must get.lots of power cuts in the usA …. Here in the UK I can’t remember the last time we had one . Do u Hobe lots of overhead powerlines affected by storms

  12. Robert Ford on April 5, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    Ok how many hours with 2 mp 40. Like most run???

  13. John Smith jr on April 5, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Sounds fair 20% – 100%

  14. Jo W. on April 5, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks for the video. Is there an updated video? I want something for my heater only. 2.5 gallon.

  15. Gaz Jones on April 5, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Can you do this test using the return pumps from ecotech please 🙂

  16. Syed Ammar Rizvi on April 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    What’s my option as a battery backup if I don’t have ecotech mp wavemakers? Anything besides a generator. I have a 7000w generator and will eventually installs a generac for whole house.

  17. Saint Nova on April 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    I don’t agree BRS. This test favoured the Ecotech right out the gate as it was designed for this purpose. The cost isnt just the Ecotech Battery but also the MP10. Not all of us run Ecotechs. Also I rarely run my pumps at 💯% and ideally if I setup a backup wavemaker id set it low to save energy and extend my agitation period. What I would have liked to have seen is what was suggested. All pumps at 20%. Secondly id prefer to use a small AC pump with the UPS, like a turbelle, just for that purpose. You’re gonna lose a lot of power from DC-AC-DC for a DC wavemaker on a UPS. Sometimes all you need is that extra hour to save your stuff.

  18. Reno Videos on April 6, 2021 at 12:01 am

    Can you connect a regular air pumo in the Vertech Battery back up?

  19. bigbowlowrong on April 6, 2021 at 12:02 am

    I bought a 1200VA Cyberpower UPS, which I’m going to connect to two DC return pumps which maybe run at ~20 watts altogether (I only have small tanks). I’m quite satisfied with a five hour run time – I’ve never experienced a power outage longer than that where I am. Besides, if I’m home I can just turn the DC pump’s power down for the duration of the outage, no biggie.
    If I lived somewhere with tornadoes and hurricanes I’d probably want something that ran for longer though.

  20. Gb J on April 6, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Thanks for this. Very helpful. In line with this, what about one other main component, heaters. In a power outage, I could grab the heater and throw it in the main display, but whats a good solution for powering it. Would be nice if there was an all in one solution for both heaters and power heads.

  21. Anannyo Samayel on April 6, 2021 at 12:06 am

    This is an experiment where theoretically finding the answer using maths would have been easy and fairly accurate. Gotta say man this is quite a bad experiment

  22. Hunter on April 6, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Sometimes the MOST gracious thing people can and should do is just say "Thank you" for your efforts to educate them on reef keeping. No one is PERFECT, no channel, no company, no keyboard warriors. Having co run a company, staff or not, my hat is off to you guys for your vlogs & taking precious time to do so. Of course you will plug your wares…so frigging what? You are not holding a gun to anyone’s head to buy only or any of your products. We can be either dismissive or make our own vids, offer our own take on your test…whatever. In fact more vloggers do just that, and should
    More should take themselves up on their findings and theories and post their own test. Either way, not a hit or rant too much…lol Uhm…lets see…a big THANK YOU. Period.💦😎

  23. Mike Orlando on April 6, 2021 at 12:08 am

    There are other reasons for using a UPS, like power conditioning for your expensive equipment and protecting the entire tank (or most of it) against smaller outages. I think the value/place of the UPS can be highlighted a bit better in this case. However, many people do get confused when comparing these large UPSs to a single battery, so this is definitely good clarification.

  24. National Reefing on April 6, 2021 at 12:09 am

    Nice informative video! Is EcoTech the only battery backup option sold at BRS website? Perhaps a BRS Battery Back-Up Unit?

  25. Bothand Nether on April 6, 2021 at 12:11 am

    I live in SoCal Mountains and SCE can shut our power off if it gets too windy during the fire season.
    If you have spent more than 1k on your tank & inhabitants,
    then uninterrupted full operation is what you need.

    Get a Honda EU2200i and forget about power outage issues altogether, imo.

  26. Mick Carson on April 6, 2021 at 12:12 am

    The video is too fast and unable to catch up and I haven’t understood a thing. Forget it, I am out. What do you think you’re filming a sports ground with a hundred takes, zoom, pans a minute? Geez, talk, just talk.🙄

  27. AJJPUGH on April 6, 2021 at 12:13 am

    Good video but as many mentioned this is not a true comparison of if a normal UPS is as good at lasting vs the EcoTech. Many here that would bother with UPS’s will likely have an APEX or GHL controller that we would use to shut off or reduce equipment. those with out would potentially be at home and would reduce the pumps manually. however you control the pumps the test should be like for like. something you normally consider in your tests.

    I would suggest a quick simple test is to work out the power needed to match the eco tech Watts draw and run them all that way and test the time as a start. then look at alternative more suited DC draw UPS’s that are available.

    This is not a moan or attach. I love watching your videos


  28. Jeremy2 on April 6, 2021 at 12:14 am

    I wish you guys tested the apc powering it at the same setting as the ecotech backup. For example, if the power was out in my home I would likely go turn my powerheads down to save power.

  29. Anannyo Samayel on April 6, 2021 at 12:14 am

    Just a BAD experiment

  30. Isaiah Chester on April 6, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Can you test a more generic setup? Ie one with out intelligent power decrease such as when mp10 detects the ecotech battery… It’s not really comparable. You should do this with a nero

  31. telegraham on April 6, 2021 at 12:18 am

    A great test for Ecotech specific equipment given the retail options that are available. If all ya care about is running a pump, this is the way to go. Well, there’s always the apples to apples solution for $75 (18Ah battery, a 3.5mm plug and a 700mA Battery Tender), but most won’t go that direction. The 24V 8Ah (vs. the 12V 18Ah from Ecotech) or less Cyberpower UPS, running at ~98 efficiency at 25% load (lower load = lower efficiency), will never keep up with a straight DC solution given the conversation back to DC to drive the Vortech pumps. Not only is double-conversion impractical when compared to native voltage, there’s also the Vortech (or any) DC power supply loss inherent to riding a modified, versus pure, sine wave. It’s almost like testing the runtime of an AC pump using a UPS vs. Ecotech Battery Back-Up. Almost.

  32. Bruno Quinzico on April 6, 2021 at 12:21 am

    I agree with BRS’s view on the test…the UPS option would not have the functionality to adapt the pump’s flow/consumption to the available backup power- this is a real world example.

    The justification why the UPS provide less backup is also very related with the battery that it comes with and not only the inverted consumption – most likely it packs a 7Ah battery while the ecotech comes with an 18Ah one.

  33. Nick Ryan on April 6, 2021 at 12:22 am

    Hey Randy – I wish you’d done a test where you manually dial down both the UPS driven MP10s to 20% when the power went out. An example would be if you’re at home when the power goes out, and you can dial it down yourself. It’d be interesting to see how that changes the results. I’m sure still doesn’t last as long as the direct DC battery, but perhaps a viable option given the (somewhat outrages) cost of the vortech battery backup!

  34. Lori Michels on April 6, 2021 at 12:23 am

    I am confused. Are you saying you can run your air flow at 20%? I’m using your videos as my guide to set up my tank and I didn’t get an answer on what to get.

  35. Lisa Foster on April 6, 2021 at 12:23 am

    Awesome info. Thanks so much! Now i know what I’m gonna get. 🙂

  36. Santiago Reefing on April 6, 2021 at 12:24 am

    Not a fair test at all! Run all the pumps at 20% on all 3 batteries and then you’ll have your real answer! Sounds like a pitch for the eco tech battery.

  37. Bulk Reef Supply on April 6, 2021 at 12:26 am

    More from BRStv !
    ➡ Binge watch the 5-Minute Saltwater Guide! :
    ➡ Our BEST Powerheads of 2019 :
    ➡ The CHEAP way to backup your tank :

  38. Jer O on April 6, 2021 at 12:26 am

    Total crap. Amp hours to amp hrs. Is where you need to compare the two. Not VoltAmps. At 100% each. Or turn them all down to 20%. This is a pure Echotech sales pitch. Look at the low reviews on the site. Its junk with their customer service. Go back to your old ways when you was honest.

  39. rami sobi on April 6, 2021 at 12:27 am

    All these batteries backup cannot run aquarium fish heater.. The heater is the most important thing we need it still working when power gone off.. Air pump we can solve it easy and same about the light but heater is not easy to solve

  40. Shaoxuan Zhang on April 6, 2021 at 12:27 am

    Why don’t you run all power head to 20%? It’s not like we can’t turn the pump down in power outage. This really didn’t help to draw a comparison much.

  41. Jon Jaroska on April 6, 2021 at 12:28 am

    I didn’t want to read through all 111 comments but I think something was missed in this test. The minute all 3 battery backups kicked in, the vortech changed its controller to 20% while you left the other 2 at 100%. This is not an apples to apples comparison and shows favor to vortech. The right thing to do is when the battery backups kick in, makes sure to throttle the other 2 pumps to 20% manually to see how long they last.

  42. Anthony Silva on April 6, 2021 at 12:29 am

    Re-do the tests and put a full tank setup load on each of the battery backups and see which one lasts the longest… I believe it will be close between the DC and the larger UPS.

  43. Reefer EM on April 6, 2021 at 12:29 am

    Nice vid! It would be great to know what are other options available for ppl using other pumps (like gyres, I think there an Icecap backup as well) and the most important redo a comparison test with all pumps running the same way.

  44. Jesus IsGod on April 6, 2021 at 12:30 am

    If I have an aquarium of freshwater fish, and I do a heater and bubbler a filter and light, what battery back up can I get that will last when my power goes out? I bought two of those cyberpower ones at $150 each and they don’t last more that 2-3 hours. And often my power is out for days! I will only keep the air and the heat plugged in though as to not over burden the battery.

    I have noticed my D cell battery bubbler works for days and the 1500 cyberpower battery back up only hours! What gives?!?

  45. Eric Johnson on April 6, 2021 at 12:30 am

    An advantage of the UPS is it can also power other components like the return pump and skimmer. All my pumps run on regular speed for about an hour until the battery dies. After the UPS dies, an icecap battery powers one MP40 and I have a portable generator if needed.

  46. Malgorzata Kowalczyk on April 6, 2021 at 12:32 am

    Sorry, this is the first time in BRS that I saw a strongly biased comparison ! Please run UPS batt. using the same load. What is the point to compare 100 % (18 Watts) load on UPS and 20 % load on aquarium product. For the ups port you do not need to put large wave maker that takes 18 Watts – this make no sense. It is more reasonable to put small pump (tunze for example) that will take significantly less Watts. It is not necessary to move vigorously water when the power supply fail (this make no sense). The comparison should be performed using the same load on the backup pumps with max ~4 Watts load (for example Tunze 6020). Cheers Piotr

  47. Tom C on April 6, 2021 at 12:33 am

    Yes the eco tech is only $170, however you need to buy MP10s or MP40s which are one of the most expensive power head on the market, certainly another deciding factor to think about.

  48. John John on April 6, 2021 at 12:34 am

    That wasn’t a fair comparison. A fair comparison would be running the pumps connected to the UPSs at 20% also. Maybe that way, they would have lasted 5 times longer. Sorry guys, you did this one wrong.

  49. Loverman Smith on April 6, 2021 at 12:34 am

    Should have run the mp10 on the ups at 20% . Was Cool to know bigger isn’t always better ! More test , let’s try a car battery . Maybe hook up an inverter to your car battery & a 50 ft. Extension cord to the mp10 . Test should probably be done with mp40 s . Don’t you sell a lot more of them? The eco tech is a nice unit .

  50. SuperMkl2010 on April 6, 2021 at 12:36 am

    That’s not right, I don’t mean that you are wrong or anything but you comparing a battery that runs full power at all times and the vortech automatically runs on a safe mode, mean that will run to save as much power as it can, the other battery don’t have that therefore will not last that long, I like you videos but this test is not right.

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